Intensive care units see unwelcome return visitors

The intensive care unit found in hospitals is one of the most costly areas of any facility, but it is also the one that is possibly the most needed. The critical nature of the intensive care unit means that hospital administrators are very unlikely to reduce the amount of funding that they are putting towards it.

There are however important ethical measures that can be adopted to ensure that the cost of running an intensive care unit is kept low. One of the most important measures that could be taken is assuring the people who leave the ICU do not come back to it because they have a relapse in their condition. Increasingly there are problems as insurance companies look to pay the smallest amount possible for their customer’s care they often look for an excuse to not have to pay the hospital.

Isansys Lifecare is a medical development company based in the United Kingdom and the Chief Executive is Keith Errey who has commented, “Around a third of patients who are discharged from ICU end up returning and this means that their care becomes very expensive again, it is easier to make sure that they are healthy enough to remain on a general ward before they are discharged.”

In an intensive care unit patient supervision is very rigorous and people are being constantly monitored by equipment as well as medical staff. Vital signs are being constantly measured and there are doctors on staff to deal with any situations where patient’s conditions take a turn for the worst.

Once a patient has been deemed fit enough to leave the ICU they are transferred to a general ward where there is less observation. If someone’s condition is improving this is the right place for them to be but all too often people are moved out who are about to suffer a relapse. Mr Errey continued, “The problem is on the general ward checks are only made every few hours and a lot can change in a patient’s condition between these checks. What is really needed is a way for patients to be monitored closely on the general ward without having the extreme cost associated with an ICU.

“Currently there is not a system that is capable of doing this but we think this is about to change as low-power wireless technology is going to make monitoring technology a lot easier.” His company developed a wireless cardiac monitor that comes at a very low cost. The device constantly measures ECG ratings and can alert medical staff to a change in the patient’s condition.

A medical professional can tell a great deal from an ECG reading and from it capable of determining the health of the patient. The device monitors the electrical activity of the heart and can inform a doctor about the condition of the heart as well as the rest of the body. There are also computer technologies that can predict when a person’s heart is about to cause them a medical problem.